Zimbabwean President Doesn’t Resign as Expected, Impeachment Next
by Stephen Lendman (stephenlendman.org – Home – Stephen Lendman)
Last Wednesday, Zimbabwe’s military placed Robert Mugabe under house arrest, the nation’s leader since 1980, forcing a bloodless transition of power, a coup by any standard, not yet resolved.
On Sunday, Mugabe’s ZANU-PF party dismissed him as party leader. Emmerson Mnangagwa, his sacked vice president, replaced him.
He was given until midday Monday to resign as president. Otherwise, impeachment proceedings would begin to remove him.
On Sunday evening, flanked by military and government officials, including Constantino Chiwenga, the army chief who placed him under house arrest, he delivered a 20-minute televised address, saying nothing about resigning.
He said last Wednesday’s military action against him didn’t challenge his authority as head of state, saying:
“The operation I alluded to did not amount to a threat to our well-cherished constitutional order. Nor was it a challenge to my authority as head of state and government. Not even as commander-in-chief of the Zimbabwe Defense Forces.”
He vowed to preside over ZANU-PF’s party congress next month, concluding by saying “you and I have a job to do” – clinging to power despite military and party opposition, along with poor health at age-93.
On Monday, Zimbabwe National Liberation War Veterans Association head Chris Mutsvangwa urged him to “go now…Your time is up. Please leave State House and let the country start on a new page.”
Instead on Sunday night, he said “(t)he era of victimization and arbitrary decisions” must end.
“I, as the president of Zimbabwe and (military) commander in chief, do acknowledge the issues they have drawn my attention to, and do believe that these were raised in the spirit of honesty and out of deep and patriotic concern for the stability for our nation and for the welfare of our people.”
He discussed the economy, saying it’s “going through a difficult patch,” indicating he intends business and entrepreneurial programs to help improve things, adding:
“Today’s meeting with the command element has underscored the need for us to collectively start processes that return our nation to normalcy so all our people can go about their business unhindered in an environment of perfect peace and security.”
Pressure on Mugabe to resign remains intense, impeachment and removal from office likely to follow.
According to an unnamed ZANU-PF official, it could come this week, perhaps in two days, saying:
An impeachment motion was published on Monday, more to come on Tuesday, a committee to be set up, reporting back on Wednesday. Then “we vote him out.”
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